Alaska Robotics

Kazu Kibuishi & Jason Caffoe to visit Juneau!

Monday, February 23rd 2015 by Pat

We’re very excited to announce that comic artists Kazu Kibuishi and Jason Caffoe will be visiting Juneau this week! They’re the team behind the New York Times bestselling series, Amulet.

Check out our Alaska Robotics Gallery Newsletter for information about workshops, hangouts, signings, presentations and more:

Update: The Making Comics and Graphic Novels workshop is from 12:30pm-4:20pm at Centennial Hall Ballroom 2 on Thursday.

Kazu Amulet

The Don’t Panic Session

Thursday, February 19th 2015 by Pat

Things are looking grim for Alaska this year… but Don’t Panic.

Alaska Robotics News takes a look at Governor Bill Walker’s Voices for Visions Budget Survey and talks to the artist behind the recent art installation at the Capitol Building.

Here’s an editorial by James Brooks which may have planted the seeds for the Governor’s “Don’t Panic” State of the State speech.

Ted Stevens vs. The World

Tuesday, February 3rd 2015 by Pat

Ted Stevens was team captain for the Republicans in the 1973 Jhoon Rhee Martial Arts Tournament. Many thanks to the UAF Alaska Film Archive for collecting and cataloging such things.

Boring Talk – Brad Keithley

Tuesday, February 3rd 2015 by Pat

bt graph
Brad Keithley is an oil, gas and fiscal policy consultant who wants to see Alaska adopt a sustainable budget. Keithley even ponied up $160,000 of his own money during the last election to target self-branded “fiscal conservatives” who weren’t delivering.

If you want to hear more from Keithley, you can find his opinions and ideas at his blog, Thoughts on Oil and Gas

Boring Talk – Katie Moritz

Monday, February 2nd 2015 by Pat

boring talk

Today on Boring Talk, I sit down with Katie Moritz, government reporter at the Juneau Empire. Moritz is a fresh face in the capitol building this year and I was eager to hear about her expectations and anxieties going into the new job.

Here are some of Katie’s most recent stories:

On a technical note, I’m still working out some bumps with my audio gear so this does have some light clipping. Sorry about that.

Boring Talk is a podcast where I’ll be exploring Alaska politics through long, boring conversations. This is a personal thirst for understanding but I’ll be sharing my (largely unedited) conversations because I think civic discourse is important in the age of Twitter and maybe there’s some information here that will be valuable to other Alaskans.

Boring Talk – “Disco” Ray Metcalfe

Friday, January 23rd 2015 by Pat


Boring Talk is back in podcast form! In this first episode, I sit down with anti-corruption advocate and the man who brought the VECO scandal to light, Ray Metcalfe.

Metcalfe explains that with cases like Citizens United, the Supreme Court may be signalling that states need to button up their corruption problems with strict, criminal ethics laws and longer statues of limitations. Metcalfe also talks about his current efforts to do just that through the referendum process.

Boring Talk is a podcast where I’ll be exploring Alaska politics through long, boring conversations. This is a personal thirst for understanding but I’ll be sharing my (largely unedited) conversations because I think civic discourse is important in the age of Twitter and maybe there’s some information here that will be valuable to other Alaskans.

Learn more:

Tiny Desk Fest Juneau

Friday, January 23rd 2015 by Pat

NPR Music is known for hosting Tiny Desk Concerts in their studio. The shows are intimate and personal, like packing into a house concert but with artists who you would never see in that context. T-Pain performed without the his life supporting auto-tuner and Neko Case showed up on Halloween in a gorilla suit. The music is good too. Outstanding. Because, of course it is.

NPR did a great thing, they invited artists from all over to perform tiny desk concerts of their own and to record them and share them. Tiny Desk Fest writ large.

Here in Juneau, I recorded a house concert featuring The Wool Pullers, Marian Call, and George Kuhar. Check it out.

Three reasons I live here:

Stop Bath

Wednesday, January 21st 2015 by Pat

A little winter poetry.

I shot a mini-doc on Peggy Shumaker last spring and this reading didn’t quite fit into the final edit but it felt important enough to release on its own. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Happy Post

Wednesday, January 14th 2015 by Pat

My friend Dayne says the website needs a happy message related to our successful Kickstarter. He’s right.

HOLY BAT-COW! We did it! YOU did it!!! We made our funding goal and get to do another session of Alaska Robotics News!

Kickstarter Dance

I thought we were doomed to fail but there was an incredible outpouring of support at the last minute and everything worked out. I can’t thank our backers enough, we’re overwhelmed by your generosity.

We’ll get under way on our first segments in the next week or two. We’ve already been kicking around ideas and reading prefiled legislation.

I’m also planning to relaunch Boring Talk as a podcast instead of a video series. I think it will be easier to listen to in that format.

If you’re not familiar with Boring Talk, check out my exit interview with Representative Beth Kerttula.

If you missed our Kickstarter project and still want to support Alaska Robotics News, consider dropping by our office with a suitcase full of cash or buying something from our gallery.

Dying on the Kickstarter Vine

Friday, December 12th 2014 by Pat

Here’s a piece on Alaska Robotics News that ran on KTOO this morning. The interview and article was conducted by Kayla Desroches.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the project lately.

It’s hard to ask for money and it’s harder to ask for money unsuccessfully… And it’s even harder to do an interview about your Kickstarter project while it’s failing.

I’ve been sorting through all these weird and complex feelings as I’ve watched our news project languish and die on the Kickstarter vine. Sure, little sparks of hope here and there but not nearly enough fire to keep the cold out.

I should be clear, I don’t feel that we’re owed anything. I recognize our, my, incredible privilege. We have technology, community and our speech is protected by the crumbling framework of democracy. I’m a white male in a nice town surrounded by nice people. I don’t have to put up with much and I get my way a lot of the time.

I firmly believe it would be better for people to give their money to the Glory Hole (Yes, that’s really the name of our local shelter, don’t ask or look it up on Google Image Search). But I did hope there might be a little left over to keep this project moving forward.

It’s just nice to feel that a project you’ve put your heart into has value and it’s hard to not equate that feeling of value with a number on a third-party website writ in a supreme font size.

I think about what went wrong. Timing? Didn’t get the word out? Too niche? Maybe people know we’ll just keep making things without any money or support? Maybe it’s just politics?

People hate politics. I hate politics. It’s why there’s a secret sense of relief building in my stomach. It’s hard to be so close to that dark miasma of power and deeply weird shit but I think it’s important to keep pulling at it and just hope it comes apart or forms a crack or something.

It’s too early to give a concession speech. There are people who love what we do and for them I’ll hang on tighter than Mark Begich. This project could still fund. But if we do fail to meet our goal on Monday, I promise not to concede until at least Wednesday.

So yeah, I’m a little bummed but if we don’t hit our goal, I have about a hundred other projects I’m excited about. I’m an artist. I’m smart. And I’m just crazy enough that I might happen.

Big love to Aaron, Lou, Jamie, Marian, Mom, Dad and everyone else who so easily find it in themselves to support me, work with me and love me.

Geez. Mushy. I told you, weird and complex feelings.